A little boy, at an age where little boys typically speak. The boy’s mother, who had never heard her son speak true words before. Three months at Urban Speech Therapy in Eden Prairie. The little boy’s mother never wept harder for joy: “ma.”
Breakthroughs like these are Julie Urban’s specialty. She and her team of four full-time speech-language pathologists help children grow, learn, and build confidence in their communication skills in a caring, compassionate environment. Julie began Urban Speech Therapy out of her home, though it has quickly grown into a successful small business making a big difference in children’s lives.
“Speech therapy has such a wide scope of practice, from articulation, apraxia and phonology to social skills, fluency and language development,” said Julie. “Kristin, Abby, Kristina, McKenzie, Isabel and I are all here because we love working with children and giving them a voice. Parents’ and caregivers’ reactions to even the smallest milestones take us through the full gamut of emotions. Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes we cry. But we always feel intensely rewarded.
“We use a total communication approach. Pictures, words, sounds, signs, tactile and visual cues – anything that can bridge the gap between a child’s thoughts and their speech is an invaluable teaching tool. Urban Speech Therapy is one of very few clinics in the area with therapists who are trained in PROMPT: a tactile-kinesthetic approach that uses gentle touch cues to guide the child through targeted words, phrases and sentences. I am currently the only Twin Cities speech therapist listed in the Apraxia Kids Speech-Language Pathologist Directory.
“We keep speech therapy interesting to children by giving them lots of positive reinforcement, like stickers, charts, tokens, games, movement breaks, and plenty of high fives. We structure activities so children know what to expect, but we also mix things up with fun weekly themes. Next year we will even have our therapy dog, Luka, joining the team.
“We adapt speech therapy to meet the child’s needs and interests. For instance, we work with a girl who is super interested in High School Musical, so we talk about the movie, sing its songs, and make memory games out of the characters’ pictures. We recently worked with a little boy who was fascinated by the WWE. That worked out perfectly! He needed practice pronouncing his R’s, and every other pro wrestler apparently has at least one of them in his name.
“We’re presently meeting with a 5-year-old boy three times a week. When he first came in, his speech was difficult to understand even to his family. He is now speaking in four- and five-word phrases, and he’s revealing a sense of humor no one knew he had before. He makes people laugh and smile every day!
“I’ve practiced speech therapy for more than 20 years. Some of the first kids I helped have now graduated from college and are successful in their careers. It’s amazing to think how great of an impact we’re making every single day here at Urban Speech Therapy.”
Urban Speech Therapy is located at 6409 City West Parkway, Suite 206 in Eden Prairie. Please visit urbanspeechmn.com to learn more, or call (952) 500-8871 to schedule an initial consultation for your child.
“Our sweet 5-year-old son, Robert, has dealt with severe speech and communication difficulties for most of his life. Within one day of starting at Urban Speech Therapy, we were given a name for our son’s condition, a game plan filled with actionable goals, and hope in the possibility of improvement. Having been diagnosed with severe childhood apraxia of speech and provided with an intense treatment plan tailored to him, Robby was able to meet his first set of goals within three months. Urban Speech Therapy truly helped our son find his voice, with compassion, kindness, and support. Robby can now say, ‘Thank you, Urban Speech Therapy!’”
- Childhood Apraxia of Speech
- Speech Sound Disorders
- Language Disorders
- Fluency Disorders